Car Crash: 1937 Packard Convertible Coupe Roadster
A feature here at the Daily Driver is the Car Crash. Breathe easy – no actual cars were harmed in the making of this crash. That would be a crime, and a cryin’ shame. Our Car Crash is much more fun – in a “crash a party” kind of a way. If you’ve ever seen a vintage car and wanted to see the interior or wondered about its restoration process, then the Car Crash is just the post for you. Join us as we explore the details of a gorgeous vehicle…
We met this incredible beauty and its owner on the 4th of July at the Brea Country Fair. One of the nicest car guys you’ll ever meet, Neil was kind enough to chat with us for a while about his beloved Packard. As is true with all car characters, Neil had great stories to share about his times with this ’37…
Length of Ownership: Owned by Neil, Pearl, Scott & Todd Anderson, this ’37 Packard has been in the family for 51 years!
Condition at time of purchase: He was lucky enough to find this beauty in stock condition at a garage in Washington. Neil was fresh out of the service and having saved his flight pay, he inquired about the car. Unfortunately, the owner’s asking price was too high. Six months went by, and Neil made him an offer of $2,000, which the owner accepted.
Neil attended the University of Washington and studied electrical engineering, and drove this Packard everyday to school.
The deeper story: Talk about a daily driver! Neil has put over 103,000 miles on this car, which has been everywhere from Florida to Denver, and finally to California, where he settled. As an engineer, Neil worked on the Apollo program in Downey, Ca., during the heyday of the space program. Imagine the things this Packard has seen from that parking lot!
Specs: This ’37 is a Model 1501-1019. It weighs in at 4,580 lbs, and the original sticker price was $2,680. In comparison, a Ford convertible roadster of the same period cost a mere $850. There were 170 Packard Convertible Coupes built in 1937, with a total of 5,835 Super Eights built that year.
With 135 horsepower at 3200 RPM, this Packard has a 320″ displacement (3 and 3/16″ bore and 5″ stroke). It features aluminum pistons and a full pressure feed, with 5 mains and 8 rod bearings.
The clutch plate is 12″ in diameter, and balanced with a flywheel and pressure plate. The rear end ratio is 4.61 to 1. It also has a dual downdraft carburetor (a Stromberg EE-23), and a three-speed transmission.
The Packard has a 134″ wheel base, with a 25′ 3 and 1/2″ turning ratio, and features hydraulic brakes and an independent suspension. It features a 25 gallon gas tank, and gets 8-15 mpg. Overall, this beauty is 18′ 7 and 1/2″ , a lengthy 19′ 10″ when the luggage rack is down – what a presence!
About 5 years ago, Neil had the car repainted and the upholstery redone in tan leather. The original black leather upholstery finally needed to be replaced when it began to crack. The burgundy paint and tan interior is a combo that keeps this Packard classy!
Today, Neil drives his Packard all around town, toting granddaughters to the local Sonic to enjoy milkshakes, and grandsons to little league games. I’m fairly certain that Neil has to be the most popular grandpa in town! Can you imagine how much fun it would be, riding around in this beauty, with your grandpa at the wheel?
A lover of automotive details, Neil has a collection of hundreds of hood ornaments from various eras, and we’ll be sharing highlights of that collection with you soon! If you’re a fan of hood ornaments too, be sure to check out our design detail post on the hood ornaments of the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, which houses several beautiful Packards (Packard circles are small and tightly-knit, as Neil happens to be friends with some of those owners!).
Automotive love affairs like these are what we love to hear about. Neil takes his car far beyond basic transportation and elevates it to the highest level, treating it like a respected and well-loved member of the family… which is exactly what a vintage beauty like this deserves. We have a feeling that if this ’37 could talk, it would tell you how much it loved Neil and his family right back.
A special thanks to Neil for letting us crash his Packard party! Stay tuned as we introduce you to another incredible car from the Brea Country Fair!